Scientific Inquiry and Group Theories in Political Science

  • Received : 2017.08.20
  • Accepted : 2017.09.11
  • Published : 2017.09.30


The purposes of this paper are twofold: First, to discuss ways and limits of studying politics scientifically; second, to examine group theories to the study of political science. To answer the first question, I examine philosophy of science, methods of scientific research, and limits of scientific study of politics. As a subject matter itself, political science involves the study of human beings and the discovery of explanations for the political behavior that they exhibit. This discovery of regularities of behavior in politics inevitably requires that human beings act consistently or discoverable manner. I argue that the best way of studying politics as much as possible is to combine traditional and scientific approaches depending upon issues, The second section of this paper will examine one of important middle-range theory of politics; group theories (approaches). Examining this will show strength and limits of studying politics scientifically. The group approaches examine the importance of role that people hold in the political system as well as the relationship between the action of collective group and its impact on the political behavior. Overall, the group approaches tend to deal with individuals in specific societal contexts and with varying distributions of power between the actors. This group approaches are premised on the belief that political activity involves more than just one individual, political activity occurs instead through individual actors in particular settings. I argued that group theories have some explanatory power and descriptive richness, though it has limitations.

본 논문의 목적은 첫째, 과학적인 정치학 연구는 어떤 단계들을 거쳐 이루어지는지에 대해 살펴보고, 둘째, 이러한 과학적인 정치학 연구의 한 예인 그룹이론들 (group theories)에 대해 분석하고 있다. 논문의 전반부에서는 정치학의 과학적 연구를 위해 필요한 개념, 리서치 디자인, 가설 설정 등에 대해 살펴보고 정치학 연구의 과학화가 갖는 한계점에 대해서도 분석하고 있다. 논문의 후반부에서는 그룹접근법들인 역할이론, 그룹이론, 갈등해소이론, 공공선택이론, 합리적 선택 이론 등에 대해 분석하고 있다. 결론에서는 정치학 연구의 과학화가 갖는 한계점에도 불구하고 과학적 탐구가 정치현상을 분석하는데 도움을 주고 있기 때문에 학자들이 연구의 주제, 성향 등에 따라 전통적인 방법과 과학적인 방법을 혼용해서 쓰는 것이 필요하다는 점을 강조하고 있다. 또한 정치학의 과학화의 한 예인 그룹이론이 정치현상을 분석하는데 미친 긍정적인 영향과 그 한계에 대해서도 분석하고 있다.



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